Building a Story: a five-week workshop


My spring five-week online creative writing workshop, Building a Story, has five spaces available. This is the same workshop that has sold out immediately in the past, and I love teaching it. The weekly format (offered on Tuesday evenings, 6-9 pm CST) allows us time to dive into all the essential elements of storytelling, from unforgettable characters to great dialogue to the most powerful iterations of tense and point of view and narrative arc. The workshop is lively and exhilarating and always, always supportive. Over many years I’ve developed my own unique style of teaching (based in part on what I disliked in workshops I took as a student), and I welcome writers of all genres and all levels of experience. Our workshops are illuminating, exhilarating and unfailingly supportive. (See sample testimonials below)

I’d love to see you in this five-week workshop. Email me at with any and all questions.

Building a Story meets on Tuesday evenings via Zoom: March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19, from 6-9 CST. The workshop is strictly limited to eight participants, with detailed weekly individual feedback from me. Fee: $400. Bonus: Writing prompts will be emailed to you every Friday for one month after class.

Registration and payment: To register (for either this five-week Building a Story class or any of my other individual workshops, email me or simply send payment and note which class you’re registering for. Registration is tentative until payment is received. You may send payment via Venmo to @Alison-McGhee-1, via Paypal to, or by personal check.

Testimonials from past participants

New and experienced writers alike who are lucky enough to take an Alison McGhee class will find their writing explored and uplifted, examined and celebrated, but always, always improved, in her skilled and gentle hands. (Tara G.)

Alison’s writing programs have been a revelation. I’ve taken writing programs in the past that made me swear I would never write another word, but Alison has a knack for bringing out the very best in the writers who study with her, even when “the best” is something they never knew they were capable of. Her teaching is fiercely intelligent, fiercely gentle, empathetic, deeply informed, and never patronizing or condescending. Take a leap of faith and try one of her classes. You’ll never look back.  (Janet M.)

Alison’s teaching has this amazing after-effect, an echo, a vibration, that comes from her voice, her sympathy, her encouragement of good words. (Tim N.)

Alison brings to her role as teacher an impressive combination of skills – passion, knowledge and depth of experience in the craft of writing, expert facilitation skills that creates a safe space for participants, and a seamless ability to keep the group moving. But what sets Alison apart is her unique ability to support people in their frailty as they explore sometimes difficult material in their lives or the lives of their characters. Alison’s immense humanity never makes a writer feel like they are going somewhere entirely alone. There’s always the feeling that she’ll catch you if you fall, and guide you back to the work at hand – the gift of storytelling.  (Tessa V.)

Alison is so very kind and responsive.  Her prompts are the most inventive I have ever seen. She gently guides you into new territory and eases you into taking writing risks without you realizing it. Take one of her workshops and reap the benefits. (Keyan K.)

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